While you may not have a working VHS player hooked up to your TV, you may still have some of your old VHS tapes from decades ago. They could be hiding in a TV drawer or gathering dust in a box in your attic. You may have been feeling sentimental and chose to hold onto some of your favorite things of the past. Now, if you have some VHS tapes, it’s worth knowing about the most valuable VHS tapes out there.
Depending on what movies you have on VHS, they could be worth quite a bit of money. Curious about what yours might be worth? We have created a list of the most expensive VHS tapes sold.
We’ve determined the most expensive VHS tapes on the market by using a number of variables. This includes using such sources as eBay and other auction houses to see what videos have sold for.
Below are some factors to determine which VHS tapes made the list.
- Price sold at auction: Some Hollywood blockbusters have sold at auction for thousands of dollars because there are collectors who are willing to pay. They drive up the price of the VHS tape.
- Condition of VHS tape: The condition of the VHS tape determines the value. If you have a VHS that is still new and in its original case with the seal unbroken, it’s going to be higher than if it has been heavily used. Most collectors look at the condition of the cassette as well as the case.
- Collectible level: Some movies are more sought after by collectors than others. This is particularly true of various niches, such as Disney, horror, and movies that only a small (but passionate) group of fans know about.
- Number of tapes produced: Many videos are highly sought after because of how rare they are. In some instances, there were only a limited number of VHS tapes produced, either because it was a special edition or because the movie never reached mainstream popularity.
Top 12 Most Expensive VHS Tapes
12. The Flesh Eaters | Selling price: $950
If you find an old copy of a 1964 horror film called “The Flesh Eaters,” you could be sitting on an old tape that is worth nearly a grand. The estimated value of a mint condition copy of “The Flesh Eaters” is $950. What makes this VHS so valuable? It’s one of the first films that was allowed to be released with violent outbursts, brutally graphic scenes, and gore.
In the 1960s, it was a horrific depiction of people getting heated by monstrous microbes. It was one of the most gruesome films of its time, and it received mixed reviews from a shocked and horrified public upon its release. It later garnered a cult following.
Additionally, the original 1964 movie has garnered more attention since a remake was made in 2022. Since the original isn’t streaming, many people want to get their hands on the VHS tape.
11. Africa Addio | Selling price: $1,000
Africa Addio (aka Farewell Africa) sold for an incredible $1,000. The old and rare VHS cassette is a recording of an Italian mondo documentary film made in 1966. The film was co-written by Franco Prosperi and Gualtiero Jacopettu. It’s the story of the end of Africa’s colonial era.
Today, the movie is considered racist, and many are looking to remove the film from circulation. This means that many collectors want to get their hands on the VHS as a way to protect the movie from being destroyed.
10. Tales From the QuadeaD Zone | Selling price: $1,675
“Tales From the QuadeaD Zone” is a film by Chester Novell Turner that has fetched a high bidding price at auction. A few copies have been sold on eBay, with one selling for $1,675. A few other copies of the rare VHS cassette have sold for $700 to $800 on the auction site. It’s one of the most valuable VHS tapes ever sold. The film was only released on VHS, making it a special addition for some collectors.
One of the things that makes this movie so highly sought after is that, according to Tubi, it was filmed on a camcorder. Film students and movie aficionados alike want this VHS tape as a way to study it. It’s also one of the more unique ways to share a horror story on film. Those who thought the Blair Witch Project was unique clearly haven’t seen the QuadeaD Zone.
9. Dr. Frankenstein’s Castle of Freaks | Value: $1,880
One of the most expensive VHS cassettes in the world is Dr. Frankenstein’s Castle of Freaks. It’s an Italian horror film released in 1974. The film is 89 minutes in duration. This version of the film features a Neanderthal man that Dr. Frankenstein reanimates after the creature is lynched by villagers. Not everything goes according to plan, and the village pays for its wrath.
The movie is one of the rare monster movies that are out there as it tells a slightly different version of Frankenstein. Movie collectors who love Dracula, The Mummy, and others are often bidding on this one, too, which is why it is not only so popular but also why it’s one of the most expensive VHS tapes sold.
8. Star Wars (Sealed) | Value: $3,500
A copy of the 1977 release of the original “Star Wars” movie sold for $3,500 at auction. It was the first film in the legacy of the franchise that would be followed by dozens of prequels, sequels, and spinoffs. After being shown in theaters in 1977, the film that became a cultural phenomenon made it to the video industry as rental copies in 1982. It was released by Fox Studios for families to rent and enjoy.
These were the days before streaming services were available. You had to either go to the theaters to watch a film or wait until it came out as a rental. There were no $5 bins to pick up a movie, and DVDs had not yet been invented. The rare videotape that was still sealed in its original box and in mint condition sold to the highest bidder for $3,500, according to Screen Rant.
Additionally, one of the reasons why people are still willing to pay for the sealed Star Wars VHS from 1977 is to see how George Lucas first envisioned the movie. Most of what you see now from streaming sites has been digitally enhanced. If you want to see what the special effects looked like from the 1970s, getting your hands on this VHS is your best bet. Screen Rant even shows what big changes were made.
7. Jaws | Value: $5711
Jaws is a movie from 1975 that made many terrified of going into the water. It featured Richard Dreyfuss and Roy Scheider. The VHS sold on eBay in 2022 for $5711, and it included a sealed watermark.
The movie has been digitally remastered several times, which means that the original VHS is that much more sought after. Additionally, it is considered more valuable than the sequel.
6. The Lion King | Value: $6,750
Disney’s The Lion King Black Diamond classic edition is one of the rarest and most expensive VHS cassettes sold. It sold at an auction where a collector placed the winning bid for $6,750. If you have a copy of this VHS tape, it might be worth this much. The value depends on its condition.
While many of the Lion King VHS tapes are more valuable than what you paid, those with the Black Diamond marking on the spine are likely to be more valuable.
The Lion King is particularly popular because of the remake as well as the Broadway musical. Due to the cult following of the movie and its storyline, the original VHS from 1994 is one of the most valuable VHS tapes.
5. Indiana Jones | Value: $7600
While there’s an entire Indiana Jones franchise now, with the most recent movie being released in 2023, it all started back in 1986 with “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.” It starred Harrison Ford as the title character, and many consider that movie to be the best movie he did in his career.
The movie is highly collectible as a result of its cult following and because the versions played on streaming sites now have been digitally remastered. In September of 2021, a factory-sealed version of the movie was sold for $7600 after 80 people bid on it, according to One37pm.
4. Top Gun | Value: $8,200
The Sun confirms that a copy of the VHS tape “Top Gun” starring Tom Cruise sold for $8,200 at an auction. This is a movie from 1986 that featured Tom Cruise and Kelly McGillis. It’s one of the most quoted movies, and Parade has listed some to be:
- “I feel the need, the need for speed.”
- “She’s lost that loving feeling”
- “Talk to me, Goose.”
Especially now that the sequel, Top Gun: Maverick, is out, more people are hot to get their hands on the VHS tape that started it all.
3. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles | Value: $28,500
A VHS of “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” is worth nearly $30K. If you have an original copy of the 1990 version that came out in 1990, you may be sitting on a small fortune. At the time of its release, “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was the independent film of its day that had the highest gross at the box office.
It held the number-one spot for nine years. The most valuable copies are the first edition Alliance variant that came out in 1990 versus the less valuable FHE edition. It’s one of the rarest collectible VHS cassettes in the world today.
The movie has become even more popular as the franchise has continued to grow. This includes not only live-action movies but also cartoons and a full line of toys. People can’t get enough of TMNT, and even some of the more popular movies may still be worth quite a bit if you have them on VHS. The Daily Beast discusses how merchandising alone was worth over $1 billion.
2. Star Wars: A New Hope | Value: $35,000
The 1984 release of the second film in the early “Star Wars” franchise was titled “A New Hope.” A copy that was sealed in its original packaging and unopened was valued at $35,000. it appeared on an eBay auction. FM confirms that it is the second most expensive VHS of all time as of 2022.
The version valued at $35K was still stored in an acid-free plastic case that received little to no light exposure to prevent deterioration. It’s a brand new copy that is sealed in the original plastic packaging it was placed inside in 1984. Further, there are two promotional stickers on the package with the white CBS/Fox watermark.
It’s important to remember that many of the VHS tapes in the 1980s were watched, especially popular ones like those in the Star Wars franchise. It’s why movies that are in such good condition (and well-stored) are worth so much money – especially to hardcore Star Wars collectors.
1. Beauty and The Beast (Black Diamond The Classics Disney Version) | Selling price: $239,998.98
Screen Crush confirms that a copy of the Classic Disney animated film “Beauty and The Beast” sold for just under $240K at an auction. The VHS was listed in its original case in “acceptable” condition. This example was no regular copy of the film. The Black Diamond series featured a black diamond logo on the box art, which makes it an incredibly rare collectible item.
These cassettes are among the rarest. Although you can find copies that sell for less, a bidder was willing to pay a phenomenal amount for the cassette, making it one of the most valuable VHS tapes today.
Of course, if you have a Beauty and The Beast VHS tape that isn’t a “Black Diamond” edition, if it’s in good condition, it could still fetch a few hundred dollars on eBay. Many people are willing to pay for the original VHS tapes, so it never hurts to throw them into an online auction and see what happens.
Frequently Asked Questions
A sealed copy of “Back to the Future” on VHS tape was sold at auction for $75,000 back in 2022.
The rarest Star Wars VHS tape is Star Wars: Episode IV (A New Home). It was when it was still referred to simply as Star Wars. The 1984 VHS, if unopened, may be worth $40k or more.
It depends on the version and condition. If it’s the original from 1994 and is in new condition (or even unopened), it could be worth several hundred or even several thousand dollars.
VHS tapes are no longer sold, so they’re highly sought after by collectors as well as media enthusiasts.
It depends on the version and condition. The Black Diamond Condition is rare because it was released in limited quantities.
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Written by Dana Hanson
Read more posts by Dana Hanson